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Starbucks to Buy Seattle Coffee Co.

April 30, 1998|From Reuters

SEATTLE — Starbucks Corp., taking a small step in an ambitious European expansion effort, said Wednesday it would acquire Seattle Coffee Co. of Britain in a stock swap worth about $84 million.

"Europe has always represented a major strategic opportunity to achieve our goal of creating and building an enduring global brand," Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz said. "This acquisition is a first step toward achieving our new goal of opening 500 retail locations in Europe by the end of 2003."

Seattle-based Starbucks also announced that its same-store sales grew by 9% in April, about double what analysts had expected.

The company said it agreed to acquire Seattle Coffee, which was founded in London by two Seattle natives, in exchange for about 1.8 million shares of Starbucks common stock.

Based on Starbucks' closing share price Wednesday of $46.50, up $1.44 on Nasdaq, the transaction would be worth about $83.7 million.

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